China Bans Public Smoking

NPR is reporting that China has banned public smoking, and depending on which part of the story you read, either 1 in 4 Chinese people smoke (300 million out of 1.3 billion), or 1 in 3 of the world’s smokers are Chinese. Either way it’s a big deal, so why would they do this? Apparently it’s either to save lives or save money via healthcare costs. This begs one of two questions: first, if it’s to save lives, isn’t China already severely overpopulated to the point where they have the one-child policy? Second, if it’s to save money, have they not uncovered the research that tells us non-smokers cost more in healthcare spending than smokers because they live longer?

But then again, who are we to complain? Maybe poor economic decisions like this will stave off their predicted unseating of American economic hegemony in five years. Although, the story makes it a point to say that the ban will likely not be well-enforced… so maybe they’re just trying to have their cake of appearing to be modern and health-conscious, while eating to benefits of smoking too.

From NPR


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